MARTIN FACE-OFF: BLAME IT ON STEVE

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Luke Baker

THE Chris Martin saga shows no sign of reach­ing an im­mi­nent con­clu­sion, but Derby County boss Steve McClaren says he is the man to blame for the sit­u­a­tion, not the player.

Derby want to end Martin’s sea­son-long loan at Ful­ham, but the Cot­tagers don’t want the striker re­turn­ing to bol­ster a pro­mo­tion ri­val, while the 28-year-old him­self is now re­fus­ing to play for the Lon­don club.

Martin has cited in­jury, but Ful­ham man­ager Slav­isa Jokanovic says the club’s med­i­cal staff can find noth­ing wrong with him.

It was as­sumed the Rams’ re­cent sign­ing of David Nu­gent would end their in­ter­est in hav­ing the Scot­land in­ter­na­tional re­turn early from his loan, but McClaren’s stance is un­changed.

“None of this is Chrissy Martin’s fault. It is me com­ing back (to Derby) and want­ing him back,” said McClaren.

“I have put a bit of pres­sure on this club and a lit­tle bit of pres­sure on Chrissy. I sup­pose I have been the cause of it. Like I said when I first came in, to have had Chrissy Martin would be great be­cause I have worked with him.

“From day one I said if there is any pos­si­bil­ity to bring him back, we should, and ba­si­cally the club is act­ing un­der that in­struc­tion.”

PRES­SURE: Chris Martin

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